Beijing Opera

Beijing Opera, known as Peking Opera, is the largest and regarded as the national opera in China with a history of 200 years.

It was developed to present form in Beijing in Qing Dynasty (1636-1911).Peking Opera is strict in regulations, singing, dialogue, acting and acrobatic combat are the four basic skills, and each of a behavior has a set of procedural actions. Generally, there are four terms of different types of roles, namely,

生Sheng (male)Sheng (male),

DanDan (female),


239008_1330679272F0Ge Chou,and each can be subdivided to detailed roles, for example, Sheng includes Lao Sheng (old man with long beards), Xiao Sheng (young man), Wen Sheng (scholar or official) and Wu Sheng (martial official). It is interesting that the female roles Dan are usually performed by males. The most famous actor of Peking Opera Mei Lanfang (Chinese:梅兰芳) was expert in Dan roles; He is a great artist who had made significant contributions to Peking Opera and enjoyed a high reputation home and abroad.There are about 1000 traditional plays in Peking Opera; and three to four hundreds are frequently performed, including some classical plays adapted from other local operas. And the popular subjects are historical stories about politics and military. Peking Opera is accompanied by a series of traditional Chinese instruments, jinghuJinghu (Chinese:京胡, a two-string bowed instrument with high register),

yueqinYueqin (Chinese:月琴, a four-stringed plucked instrument with a full-moon-shaped sound box) and

suona Suona (Chinese:唢呐, or suona horn, a woodwind instrument)

are the main, gongs and drums of different sizes are the percussion instruments, and

xiangbancastanets(Chinese:响板)is a time-beater which is very important in Peking Opera to beat the time for actors.

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